Episode 59 Watches & Wonders Showdown

Welcome to Episode 59 of the Tenn & Two Podcast

Today we play a bit of catch up as this is the first podcast that us two Kats have done alone together other than watch reviews for some time. We spend the first few minutes of today’s show reflecting on the amazing things that we have been able to accomplish with everything going on in the world. Honestly, we are just completely amazed by the support of so many of you as listeners, friends, and others in this industry. As enthusiasts in this hobby ourselves, we are still dumbfounded that we’ve been able to have so many people that we look up to in this industry as guests on our podcast and we look forward to seeing where else things go. We know these are trying times for everyone, but all we can do is make the best of it and that’s most definitely our plan.


Wrist Watch Check

We start today off with a wrist watch check. On Kat’s wrist today, the new time only Oceanking from Monta. It’s no surprise to anyone that the two of us are huge fans of Monta Watch and we had the gilt dial Oceanking for a short time to check it out. Kat enjoyed it so much that she decided to purchase one of her own. Katlen has her Planet Ocean on the wrist today but with a new strap combination from Barton Straps. We talk about the silicone elite straps from the brand and how comfortable they are. Honestly, this is a combo that’s not going anywhere soon.


Watches and Wonders 2020

Over the weekend, we experienced the first ever digital Watches and Wonders event. Before the two of us dive into some of the details, we speak for a bit about our overall feelings for the event. While it didn’t quite go off without error as there were many issues with the website as well as with brands releasing pieces prior to their embargo lifting, the event still brought a “newness” to the industry that we haven’t seen for some time. A traditionally “stuffy” industry embraced new ideas to stay competitive during these trying times. We mentioned it during our podcast with Nicholas Bowman-Scargill of FEARS last week, but it gives hope that the industry can adapt when it needs to. And it gives us all hope that one day, we will be able to put Covid-19 and social distancing behind us and resume a normal life once again.


New Technologies and Materials? – Not Really

If we’re being honest, there wasn’t a lot to be excited about as far as new releases were concerned. This year just seemed like a lot of repeating previous models but with a few new colors and that was quite disappointing. Where was the groundbreaking newness that we traditionally look forward to? No where to be found over the weekend that’s for sure. That being said, we were able to see a few things that pushed the boundaries a bit.

The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept

One brand that brought to us something new was Piaget with the Altiplano Ultimate Concept. Now, technically this was a technology introduced in 2018 but it was just what its name suggested, a concept. A 2mm thick watch…no one thought it could be mass produced, not even Piaget. This year the brand has announced that they will be producing the watch for commercial use. What’s more is that they are allowing it to be completely customized, with over 10,000 possibilities according to the brand. While not technically new technology, the idea of mass producing this amazing concept is quite astonishing.

Panerai 70 Year Warranty

The other stand out in news of technology and advancements, Panerai offering an unheard of 70 year warranty on their new “70 Years of Luminor” collection. Ok, let’s be honest, this is definitely just a marketing scheme, but it’s a good one. Who doesn’t like the idea of a lifetime warranty essentially on your timepiece. Katlen brings up her frustration in extending a warranty out like this but not innovating your technology to justify it as other brands have done. Because of this, you’re still going to have to send your watch out just as much. But, it’s smart marketing on their part, though we wonder if it is transferable as it would seem the warranty would survive well beyond many of its owners.


The 2020 Watches and Wonders Collection Draft

Seeing as how the NFL Draft took place over the weekend, we decided to have a bit of fun in discussing our favorite watches of this year’s Watches and Wonders. Instead of going through all of what was offered, we built out “dream team” of new releases following basic draft rules…once a watch was chosen, it could not be repeated (not even in a different variation). After an awkward coin flip that involved losing the quarter, having to find it, really a whole ordeal, it was determined that Kat would get first pick in building her dream team. So without hesitation, let’s see who builds the best collection:

Round 1:

The number one draft pick goes to Kat as she chooses the Cartier Santos-Dumont ‘La Demioselle’. This limited edition timepiece takes the brand and the Santos back to its original roots in aviation. Kat talks about how much she adores the dial and strap combination, inspired by Alberto Santos-Dumon’s had that he was incredibly well known for wearing. While this is the “extra large” size, she finds the subtle details quite appealing, including the ruby cabachon crown. Set in platinum and limited to 30 pieces, this watch is $43,600 (but hey, it comes in a nice box and includes cuff links so there’s that).

Katlen’s first round pick is a watch that she truly believes won Watches and Wonders this year, The JLC Master Control Chronograph Calendar. This watch is just perfection in her eyes and is incredibly well balanced. For a timepiece that offers so many complications (pulsometer, date, day, month, chronograph, moonphase), it all sits perfectly spaced and symmetrical in a 40mm stainless steel case. The best part, it’s one of the lesser expensive pieces to debut over the weekend at $14,500.


Round 2:

Moving on to the next draft round, Kat goes with the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Blue which causes a bit of an upset for Katlen who was going to choose the same watch but the skeleton dial. While not a completely new piece, this is the first year that the brand has combines the blue dial watch with a pink gold bracelet that just looks absolutely phenomenal. We discuss the popularity of moonphases as well as how amazingly neat and clean this dial is to read, much like the JLC. At a cool $88,500, it naturally should be in anyone’s collection right?

Katlen’s second pick, another Cartier. She goes with the Tank Asymétrique. Specifically the stunning anthracite dial set in pink gold. The brand goes back to a design introduced in the 1930s as a distraction from traditional round or rectangle watches of the time. Katlen talks about the interesting design of the parallelogram case shape and numeral layout on the dial. On top of the fact that it is grey (which we all know is a favorite color), this watch just offers a bit of everything. The manual wound movement is housed in a 47mm lug to lug design that seems as though it would fit perfectly on the wrist. Limited to 100 pieces and priced at $24,600.


Round 3:

And last, but not least, Katlen goes with the Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune (which we will go ahead and apologize for butchering the pronounciation of). While again nothing new from the brand as it debuted last year, 2020 brings five new dial options. Katlen’s favorite, the Black Sahara. This new dial really solidifies the watch for her until Kat points out that the lugs dont match and then it’s ruined but hey, she’s stuck with it. At 43mm, the piece features two lunar displays representing both the northern and southern hemispheres. Price, $54,100.


Well, that wraps up our first ever watch draft. Leave us a comment and let us know who built the better collection in your opinion!

We wrap the the episode up discussing our thoughts and disappointments on the watches offered. Which begs the question, did watch brands hold back because of everything going on? While we will never know the answer for certain, one can’t help but to speculate that many of these brands played it safe this year, possibly saving more for next year when business would have the better potential. Nonetheless, I think we can all agree that it is a wonderful breath of fresh air to see some sort of normality in the industry that drives our hobby.

Until next time y’all!

Kat and Katlen

Tenn & Two

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